Explore the Musser Mansion and hear the stories of Laura Musser McColm, her family and her domestic servants. A member of the Muscatine Art Center staff will you guide you through each room of the house, explain the various collections and furnishings on display and answer your questions.

Guided mansion tours will be offered at 5:30 p.m. on the first Thursday of the month. The guided tour on March 6th marks the debut of this program. Reservations are not required - just drop in and enjoy!

Admission for the tours is by donation. The suggested donation amount is $5 per person. The tour will last approximately 45 minutes.

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Paintings from the Mississippi River Collection

  • The Mary Musser Gilmore Collection of French Impressionism

  • Painted and Photographic Portraits of the Musser Family and a Sculpted Bust of Laura Musser as a Child

  • Listen to Historic Music Boxes

  • Collection of Historic Toys

EVENT DETAILS:

What: Muscatine Art Center's Guided Mansion Tour

Who: Hosted by Muscatine Art Center Staff

When: Thursday, March 6, 2014

Time: 5:30-6:15 PM

Where: The Muscatine Art Center

Admission to this program is FREE. Suggested donation of $5 per person.

Please contact, Melanie Alexander, Director, with any questions or concerns at 563-263-8282 or by email at malexander@muscatineiowa.gov.

The Muscatine Art Center is open to the public Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 10 AM to 5 PM, Thursday from 10 AM to 7 PM and Saturday and Sunday from 1 to 5 PM Admission is FREE.

NOVEMBER 6, 2013

The public is invited to join the Muscatine Art Center as they host Humanities Iowa speaker Professor Roy R. Behrens as he presents a 45 minute presentation on the artistic legacy of Regionalist artist Grant Wood. This presentation is to take place Sunday, November 17 from 2:00 to 3:00 PM in the Muscatine Art Center's Music Room. Admission to this program is FREE.

Grant Wood's most famous painting, "American Gothic", has been described as equivalent to Leonardo da Vinci's portrait of the "Mona Lisa". The attention given to that single work, however justified, too often prevents us from focusing on Wood's other accomplishments. How was he trained as an artist? What influenced him? Who in turn did he influence? What did he really achieve in life? This presentation is a visual and verbal analysis of Wood's artistic legacy, illustrated by dozens of examples of his drawings, prints, paintings and other artworks, including those less widely known. Among the highlights are rare historic photographs of Wood, his students, and his Regionalist contemporaries, accompanied by eyewitness stories about his creative process, his methods, his failings, his sense of humor, and the growth of his basic beliefs about art.

Roy R. Behrens is Professor of Art and Distinguished Scholar at the University of Northern Iowa. He has taught graphic design history for more than 35 years at art schools and universities throughout the U.S. An editor, author and designer, he has appeared in interviews on PBS, BBC, BBC Radio, and IPTV. He is described by Communication Arts magazine as "one of the most original thinkers in design," and was a nominee for the Smithsonian Institution's National Design Awards in 2003.

This program is funded by Humanities Iowa, a private, non-profit state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. A cultural resource for Iowans since 1971, Humanities Iowa brings humanities programs into the heart of Iowa communities.

The humanities are fields of study that help us to discover and remember who we are and how we came to be, as individuals and as part of the world. Humanities Iowa offers funding for this Speakers Bureau event and for grants in support of public programs to non-profit organizations in the state of Iowa.

The Muscatine Art Center will open its new exhibition, The Art of Living Well, on Thursday, November 7th with a reception from 5 to 7 p.m. The Art of Living Well is an opportunity to showcase the Art Center's permanent collection while exploring some of the principles from the Blue Zones Project™.

Muscatine is among ten communities in Iowa that have been chosen as Blue Zones Project demonstration sites. The purpose of the Blue Zones Project is to encourage principles that make it possible for people to live longer, healthier and happier lives. The Art of Living Well is presented in five sections - Work, Play, Relax, Belong and Eat. Visitors will explore each of these sections and discover examples of "move naturally," "know your purpose," "down shift," "loved ones first," "right tribe," "plant slant" and other core principles of the Power 9®.

"The approach to this exhibition is somewhat different from the way art exhibitions are often organized," says Director, Melanie Alexander. "The staff was challenged to find examples of people spending time in nature, gathering with friends, being physically active. The Art Center's collection of photographs, paintings, drawings, artifacts, postcards and other objects is full of examples of people in the past leading active lifestyles."

"In this exhibition, we put together works by well-known artists such as Grant Wood, John Bloom and John Steuart Curry to be displayed next to photographs of families picnicking, ice skates from the 1870s, Musser family scrapbooks and advertisements from the Muscatine Oatmeal Company. The Art of Living Well showcases the Art Center's collection of original art and historic artifacts."

The Art Center recently received a grant from the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs that will make it possible to provide a variety of experiences for elementary through high school students when they tour the exhibition. The Art of Living Well is intended to re-enforce some of the healthy eating initiatives of the school district. While at the Art Center, 1st grade students will use collage materials to create a healthy meal; 4th graders will make prints from fruits and vegetables; 6th graders will make fruit and vegetable still lifes in the style of Grant Wood. Visitors will also imagine themselves in a painting or photograph and carry out the movements of the people depicted.

"We hope that students will be attracted to the colorful depictions of fruits and vegetables and will enjoy thinking about what people in the past did to keep physically activity, relax or connect with one another."

The Art of Living Well runs from November 7, 2013 through June 15, 2014. Hand-outs and pledge forms for the Blue Zones Project will be available as part of the exhibition. Families can also put together a picnic using toy fruits and vegetables.

The Muscatine Art Center is located at 1314 Mulberry Avenue in Muscatine, Iowa. Hours are Tuesday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Thursday evenings until 7:00 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. Admission is free. Donations are appreciated.

The Friends of the Muscatine Art Center are seeking donations of wreaths and gingerbread houses for this year's Festival of Wreaths.

Each year, the Festival of Wreaths event raises over $5,000 to help keep the arts alive in our community! Funds raised by this event provide vital support to the Friends of the Muscatine Art Center, a 501(c)(3) organization that sponsors hundreds of art classes, outreach programs, guided tours and special events that spark the imaginations of students and families in the Muscatine area.

Each wreath, table-top tree, door swag, table centerpiece or gingerbread house must be the creative masterpiece of the participant. Greens should be artificial. If any lights are included, the lights must be new. All wreaths and other donated items will be auctioned by bid during the Gala Finale on Saturday, November 16th. Creators should provide a title for each piece submitted for auction. The deadline to sign up is October 10, 2013. Items are due to the Art Center by October 30, 2013 and will be on public display from November 7th through 16th.

A panel of judges will give awards for best wreath, best gingerbread house, best holiday décor and best student submission. Judges will evaluate creativity, artistic implementation, effort and presentation. Attendees will vote for the People's Choice Award - presented at the close of bidding during the Gala Finale.

For more details, contact the Muscatine Art Center at 563-263-8282.

The Muscatine Art Center is located at 1314 Mulberry Avenue in Muscatine, Iowa. Hours are Tuesday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Thursday evenings until 7:00 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. Admission is free. Donations are appreciated.

Muscatine Art Center to Present a Free Concert

The Muscatine Art Center is pleased to present a free concert to take place in the recently dedicated, E. Bradford Burns Performing Arts Park. "Kim Wiseman & Friends" will be the first group to perform in this space on Sunday, October 13th from 2 to 4 p.m. Kim Wiseman-Johnson is the lead vocalist with Mark Johnson on guitar, keyboard and vocals, and Mayor DeWayne Hopkins on drums. Other local musicians may join in the fun. The group performs older hymns and contemporary Christian music.

The public is invited to bring lawn chairs or blankets to sit on. In case of rain, the concert will be moved to the Art Center's Music Room. Don't miss this opportunity to see Mayor Hopkins perform!

The E. Bradford Burns Performing Arts Park is located at 1402 Mulberry Avenue, one lot up from the Musser Mansion at former site of the Henry Jayne House. The original brick foundation of the house has been adapted to serve as a performance space.

Visitors are also encouraged to view the exhibition, "A Journey Down River: Celebrating the 75th Anniversary of the Great River Road," which closes on October 27, 2013.

For more details, contact the Muscatine Art Center at 563-263-8282.

The Muscatine Art Center is located at 1314 Mulberry Avenue in Muscatine, Iowa. Hours are Tuesday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Thursday evenings until 7:00 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. Admission is free. Donations are appreciated.

The public is invited to join the Muscatine Art Center in welcoming Carol Ehlers, art history speaker, as she presents a 45 minute lecture on French Cubist painter Marie Laurencin. The lecture will take place Thursday, August 22 at 5:30 pm in the Muscatine Art Center's Music Room. Admission is free.

Marie Laurencin was born in Paris in 1883 and was an important figure in the Parisian avant-garde scene during the early years of the 20th century. She had close friendships with many fellow Cubists, including Pablo Picasso, George Braque, and Juan Gris and exhibited with them in 1910 and 1911. She became romantically involved with the poet Guillaume Apollinaire and is often identified as his muse.

When Laurencin divorced from her German-born husband in 1920, she returned to Paris from Germany. There she achieved financial success as an artist until the depression of the 1930's. During the Depression she worked as an art instructor at a private school. She taught and continued to paint until her death in 1956.

Marie Laurencin is admired first and foremost for her charming sense of color and style which makes her paintings immediately recognizable. Her works, which included oil paintings and pastels, watercolors, drawings, and prints, remained remarkably consistent throughout her career. She is known as one of the few female Cubists and although she worked closely with other members of the movement, she developed a unique approach to the subject of abstraction. Her use of pastels and curved, feminine forms kept her body of work outside the norms of Cubism.

In 1992 the Muscatine Art Center's collections were significantly enriched by a gift of twenty-seven works of art by Toulouse-Lautrec, Matisse, Degas, Boudin, Chagall, Renoir, and other European artists. The collection was a gift from the estate of Mary Musser Gilmore in honor of her parents, Richard Drew Musser and Sarah Walker Musser. The paintings are on permanent display in the Laura Musser Mansion.

 

EVENT DETAILS:

Lecture: French Cubist Marie Laurencin

Who: Carol Ehlers

When: Thursday, August 22, 2013

Time: 5:30 PM

Where: The Muscatine Art Center's Music Room

Admission to this program is FREE.

 

Please contact Katy Loos, Program Coordinator, with any questions or concerns at

563-263-8282 or by email at kloos@muscatineiowa.gov.

 

The Muscatine Art Center is located at 1314 Mulberry Avenue in Muscatine, Iowa. Hours are Tuesday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Thursday evenings until 7:00 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. Admission is free. Donations are appreciated. Visit www.muscatineartcenter.org for more information about programs and events and to download a class brochure.  

JULY 16, 2013

The public is invited to join the Muscatine Art Center in welcoming Carol Ehlers, art history speaker, as she presents a 45 minute lecture on Impressionism and its influence on 19th Century modernity and fashion. The lecture will take place Thursday, July 25 at 5:30 pm in the Muscatine Art Center's Music Room. Admission is free.

From the mid-1860's to the 1880's, Paris was emerging as the style capital of the world, just when the artists who called themselves the Impressionists gained notoriety within the artistic community. The Impressionists, with their love of movement, color and light, and contemporary life, set out to capture modern life in its elemental form. This "snapshot" of society included all the nuances of the day; most specifically the fashions and trends of the time.

The mid-1880's saw the rise of the department store and the increasing presence of the fashion magazine- a possible reflection upon the pastimes of the bourgeoning society in Paris, from the operatic and yachting scenes to views of the Siene River. The Impressionists were keen to represent the sordid underworld of the glitzy Paris above, often depicting women in the cabarets dancing the Can-Can and the Bolero, with their ruffled skirts and plumed hairpieces, as well as the patrons in raggedy clothes in back rooms of the taverns sipping Absinthe. Their clothing, though not as opulent as those who frequented the ballets (another favorite subject of the Impressionists, most notably Edgar Degas), nonetheless reflected the ever changing fashion of the day.

Impressionism, Fashion, and Modernity is the name of the world-traveled exhibit that has now made its way to its final stop at the Art Institute of Chicago, after having been realized at the Musée d'Orsay in Paris and traveled to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
After having visited the exhibit in Chicago, our speaker Carol Ehlers will use the exhibit in Chicago as a starting point to her discussion about the French Impressionists and their influence on modern society and fashion in mid-19th century Paris.

In 1992 the Muscatine Art Center's collections were significantly enriched by a gift of twenty-seven works of art by Toulouse-Lautrec, Matisse, Degas, Boudin, Chagall, Renoir, and other European artists. The collection was a gift from the estate of Mary Musser Gilmore in honor of her parents, Richard Drew Musser and Sarah Walker Musser. The paintings are on permanent display in the Laura Musser Mansion.

MUSCATINE ART CENTER

1314 Mulberry Avenue, Muscatine, IA 52761    563-263-8282

www.muscatineartcenter.org

Due to the storm damage incurred on Monday afternoon, the Muscatine Art Center will be closed today, Tuesday, June 25th. There are branches and unsecured bricks that pose potential risk. Tree removal will begin today. Only those who have official business at the Art Center should use the Cedar Street parking lot, and call the office at 563-263-8282 to gain access to the building. All others are strongly discouraged from coming onto the grounds of the Art Center.

Damage to the Musser house and portions of the Art Center is not significant. Art Center staff and other City of Muscatine departments are making every effort to ensure that the Ice Cream Social, scheduled for Sunday, June 30th, will go ahead as planned.

Concerned citizens who wish to volunteer with clean up can contact United Way of Muscatine. Nichole Sorgenfrey, United Way's Program Manager, will take a list of those interested in helping. She can be reached at 563-263-5963. The exact timing of when volunteers are needed is uncertain at this time.

A follow up press release will be sent in a few days to confirm that the Ice Cream Social will go ahead as planned. Updates will also be posted on the Art Center's website and facebook page.

The Muscatine Art Center is located at 1314 Mulberry Avenue in Muscatine, Iowa. Hours are Tuesday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Thursday evenings until 7:00 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. Admission is free. Donations are appreciated.

Contact Melanie Alexander at 563-263-8282 or malexander@muscatineiowa.gov.

June 30th - July 4th

Color in PatriART Week with Red, White & Blue

MUSCATINE, Iowa

"Chalk-the-Walk" is one of several new events added to this year's PatriART week. The 7th annual PatriART week is a celebration of Muscatine's art, history, and culture culminating with the fireworks display on July 4th.  All events are free and fun for the whole family.

PatriART week kicks off on Sunday, June 30th with a family bike ride departing from Discovery Park at 1 p.m. Participants will stop by the Muscatine Art Center for tasty treats at the Friends of the Muscatine Art Center's Annual Ice Cream Social. The Ice Cream Social will be held from 1 to 5 p.m. Highlights include live music, a book sale, an art fair, "fun with fruit", kids games, and family activities. The Muscatine Art Center will also hold a dedication of the E. Bradford Burns Performing Arts Park at 1 p.m.

One of the new events, Chalk-the-Walk, will be held on Monday, July 1st from 5 p.m. to dusk on the riverfront in the parking lot by the Riverview Center. During the event, kids are encouraged to use sidewalk chalk to color in cartoon characters recreated by Flynn Collier and other local artists. Chalk is provided by the Muscatine Art Center. The Muscatine Civil War Roundtable will also present the lecture, "Muscatine & Vicksburg" on July 1st at 6:30 p.m. inside the Riverview Center.

Tuesday, July 2nd features two events - the opening of the exhibit, "Rollin' on the River," a collection of Oscar Grossheim's photographs of the Mississippi River and Concert Night at Weed Park. The exhibition is sponsored by the Musser Public Library and River's Edge Gallery. The reception is from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. at River's Edge Gallery, 216 W. Third Street. The exhibition will be on view at River's Edge Gallery throughout the month of July. Concert Night at Weed Park begins at 7 p.m. in the band shell with a performance by "Fun with Brass". Following the band's one hour performance, the Muscatine Civic Chorale will take the stage.

Noon on Wednesday, July 3rd brings the return of music on the lawn of City Hall. Mayor Hopkins has arranged for the "Vineyard Café After Hours" band to play. Residents of Muscatine will not want to miss this as Mayor Hopkins will take a seat behind the drums. Later in the day, families will want to catch all of the activities at Discovery Park for Family Night. The Environmental Learning Center will open a new temporary exhibition about snakes and let kids get up close with the slithery creatures. Friends of the Old Barn will offer tours and crafts from salvaged wood. The Friends of the Pine Creek Grist Mill will provide hands-on demonstrations and exhibits. Family Night will be from 5 to 8 p.m. with Grave Witching, a method for locating unmarked graves, offered from 6 to 7 p.m. in the Muscatine County Home Cemetery in Discovery Park.

The week wraps up with activities on July 4th. The Fourth of July Parade begins at 5:00 p.m. in downtown Muscatine. At 8 p.m., the Muscatine Symphony Orchestra will perform. The fireworks at dusk will mark the finale of the week's activities.

Schedule:

Sunday, June 30

Family Bike Ride (1-2 p.m.)

Meet at Discovery Park and depart at 1 p.m. for a family bike ride of either 3 or 10 miles. Both rides stop at the Muscatine Art Center for free ice cream. Participants who decorate their bike will also receive a coupon for another sweet treat.

Contact: Greg Harper (563) 263-4043/ greg@harperscycling.com

Ice Cream Social (1-5 p.m.)

Come to the Muscatine Art Center to enjoy ice cream, assorted desserts, family friendly fun, and live music. This year there will also be an art fair and the dedication of the E. Bradford Burns performing Arts Park at 1 p.m.

Contact: Melanie Alexander (563) 263-8282/ Melanie@muscatineiowa.gov


Monday, July 1

Chalk-the-Walk

Bring the family to the Riverfront where local artist, Flynn Collier will outline cartoon characters for kids to color in with chalk. Activities will take place on the riverfront in the parking lot of the Riverview Center. Chalk is provided.

Contact: Melanie Alexander (563) 263-8282/Melanie@muscatineiowa.gov

Muscatine Civil War Roundtable's "Muscatine & Vicksburg" (6:30 p.m.)

Listen to this exciting lecture at the Riverview Center.

Contact: Dan Clark (563)264-5990 /dclark@muscanet.com


Tuesday, July 2

Opening Reception for ""Rollin' on the River," Oscar Grossheim's photographs of the Mississippi River from the Collection of the Musser Public Library

Exhibition and Reception at River's Edge Gallery, 216 W 3rd Street, from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.

Contact: Pam Collins at Musser Public Library - (563)263-3065/ Pcollins@muscatineiowa.gov or Joel Smyers at River's Edge Gallery - (563)263-3176

Concert Night (7-9 p.m.)

Fun with Brass and Muscatine Civic Chorale at Weed Park Band Shell

Contact: Fun with Brass - Carolyn Airola (563) 264-2071/ amcjairola@gmail.com, Muscatine Civic Chorale: Jan Phillips-  jphillips@eicc.edu


Wednesday, July 3

Concert on the Lawn of City Hall (12 p.m.)

"Vineyard Café After Hours" Band

Contact: Mayor Hopkins (563)264-1550

Discovery Park Family Night (5-8 p.m.)

Learn about snakes when the Environmental Center opens its traveling exhibit on snakes - Contact: Curt Weiss (563) 264-5922/ cweiss@co.muscatine.ia.us

Old Barn Tours and Crafts- Contact: David Metz (563) 263-4222/ davemetz@machlink.com

Hands on Demonstration and Exhibits of the Friends of the Pine Creek Grist Mill-Contact: Tom Hanifan tomhanifan@yahoo.com


Thursday, July 4

4th of July Parade (5 p.m.) - Contact: GMCCI (563) 263-8895

Muscatine Symphony Orchestra (8 p.m.) On the Pearl City Station's West Patio -Contact: Carolyn Airola (563) 264-2071/ amcjairola@gmail.com

Fireworks (Dusk)- Contact: GMCCI (563) 263-8895

The Muscatine Art Center will open its latest exhibition, "A Journey Down River: Celebrating the 75th Anniversary of the Great River Road" on Sunday, June 30th as part of the Friends of the Muscatine Art Center's Annual Ice Cream Social. The exhibition will be on display in the Stanley Gallery through October 27, 2013.

The Mississippi River has always served as a muse for artists, songwriters and authors. "Old Man" River has been described as mighty, muddy and wicked, but the word "spectacular" describes both the river itself and the Muscatine Art Center's collection of works depicting the river. The collection includes paintings, drawings, prints and maps which historically and aesthetically document the river and the communities built along its banks.

The Great River Road, which travels the length of both sides of the Mississippi River, is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year. In 1938, the Mississippi River Parkway Commission (MRPC) was established for the purpose of collectively preserving, promoting and enhancing the scenic, historic and recreational resources of the Mississippi River.

The Muscatine Art Center exhibition will follow the Great River Road as part of the anniversary celebration. Highlights from the River Collection include a variety of works by Henry Lewis, an oil on pressed wood by Sally MacMillan, a painting by Muscatine's own William Bunn, a lithograph by John Page, a view of "Bloomington" (Muscatine) by John Casper Wild, prints by Karl Bodmer, hand colored engravings by Herrmann Meyer and a pen and ink drawing by Rudolf Cronau.

As a compliment to the River Collection, the Art Center has on display the speedboat racing trophies of Charles (Chap) Hanley. Hanley was born in Muscatine in 1878 and raced his first boat in 1904, eventually becoming a national champion. He set the world's speed record in 1923 and won trophy after trophy with the boats that he often designed and built himself.

The Muscatine Art Center is located at 1314 Mulberry Avenue in Muscatine, Iowa. Hours are Tuesday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Thursday evenings until 7:00 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. Admission is free. Donations are appreciated.

"View of the Mississippi from Wyoming Hill" by William Bunn, 1946 Collection of the Muscatine Art Center, Gift of the Raymond Titus Estate.jpg

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